It’s a scene right at the beginning of “Massive Talent”. In the legendary Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont, where many Hollywood stars have partied (and crashed), Nic Cage (played by Nicolas Cage) has a meeting with a director. It’s a dream role and Cage is pushing hard to get the part. When saying goodbye, he again gives an interpretation of the character, but you can already guess it from the tormented expression on his interlocutor’s face: It won’t work. And a short time later, Cage’s agent (Neil Patrick Harris) also tells him that a decision has been made against him.
Yet who is the filmmaker that Cage is talking to? Unfortunately, many are not likely to recognize him – it was originally planned differently.
Originally, Massive Talent director Tom Gormican and his co-writer Kevin Etten wanted cult director Quentin Tarantino for the role. In the original screenplay for “Massive Talent”, which made waves in Hollywood, Tarantino is also present in this scene. And it would be a fitting choice in many ways. Tarantino has a face that a broader public recognizes directly. He’s also known for helping actors out of career slumps, which would have been an added inside joke when paired with his role on Massive Talent. But Tarantino probably canceled…
» “Massive Talent” on Amazon*
This is how Plan B came into play: Nicolas Cage put David Lynch in touch. The cult director famously collaborated with the superstar on Wild At Heart, which would have been a nice pointer. In addition, although significantly fewer people than Tarantino, but at least many film fans should also recognize Lynch directly. After all, he was often seen in front of the camera – especially in his cult series “Twin Peaks”. But then the corona pandemic came and made shooting more difficult. That’s why Lynch got out at short notice. He didn’t want to travel during the pandemic and put himself at potential risk of infection for a mini role.
Plan C came about at very short notice: Cage brought David Gordon Green on board. He has been close friends with him since they worked together on “Joe – Die Rache ist sein”, one of the best Cage films of the past ten years. And Green, who recently made headlines as a horror director with “Halloween” and “Halloween Kills”, was happy to do his buddy’s favor and jump in when needed.
As a big fan of the director, the author of these lines has been enthusiastic about the cameo since his indie beginnings with films such as “George Washington” and “Undertow”. Green also directed a buddy-action comedy, Pineapple Express, which has some similarities to Massive Talent, which is also a nice side note. But of course the change makes the scene much weaker. Green is not a director who puts himself in the limelight. As a result, even film buffs who have heard his name, perhaps seen all of his films, may not recognize him for the most part in Massive Talent. So the scene loses some of its humor.
Still, we think Massive Talent is worth it. Why can’t you just read about it in the DashFUN review, but also listen to it in the current issue of our podcast on the screen love. In this we talk in detail about the film and above all our love for Nicolas Cage, but of course not about the second big cameo in “Massive Talent”, in which a different person stepped in than originally planned. But because this is a major SPOILER, the short information for the curious is only available after our podcast player has been displayed at the end of this article – so continue reading at your own risk.
Attention: Now follows the announced SPOILER!
If at the end of “Massive talentAs the story recaps as a movie-within-a-movie has its major theatrical premiere, we see that superstar Demi Moore now plays Cage’s wife Olivia. In the script, Naomi Watts appears at this point instead. Here, however, the recast makes for a small meta insider gag:
Eventually, Moore starred in the thriller Indecent Proposal, in which a billionaire (Robert Redford) offers her and her husband (Woody Harrelson) $1 million for a night of love. Businessman Javi (Pedro Pascal) offers the same sum to Nic Cage for his stay in his estate. And the Hollywood star fears it could be a similarly indecent offer…
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